Remember the good old days, pre-social media, when you and your office mates could stand around the Magnetic Springs water cooler and gossip shamelessly about the Federal Reserve?
Remember last week when you gathered in the breakroom for a longer-than-allowed timeout to text each other on your phones instead of actually talking with each other, like normal people? Well, you can forget about that, now.
Consider yourselves deprived of workplace gossip privileges.
Thanks to the transparency of social media–and the increasing devaluation of your Facebook privacy settings–the Federal Reserve is watching.
Chairman Bernanke–and the other guys who can quickly spot bank runs and asset bubbles a mile away–want to know what you’re saying about them.
Shouldn’t they be underground room making sure the printing presses are running? Some of my social media friends are up-in-arms about this.
Few word combinations scare people more than when “monitor” is sandwiched between “medium institutions” and “your speech.”
Actually, I still say your biggest Big Brother threat is your fellow citizen with a camera phone and a Twitter account (and those guys stalking you for People of Walmart).
The next hot Tumblr meme is you falling down the driveway on your way to retrieve the mail. But yeah, financial institutions that don’t deal directly with the general public are scary, too. Sure.
So why does a quasi-government financial institution that doesn’t deal directly with regular people care how regular people feel about it?
I sure wouldn’t.
The President and other politicians have to care, (read: pretend convincingly). That’s why they travel to small towns, shake hands, saturate television with endorsements from non-profits groups no one knows, and out-promise the competition:because they need our votes on election day.
But the Fed?
Remember Ben Bernanke’s interview on 60 Minutes from 2010? The one that gave no real insight to the inner-workings of the central bank that’s not already available in textbooks or in this gem (not as dry as I expected, but close)? Even the show’s discussion of Bernanke, himself, sounds like a Wikipedia article, if Scott Pelley read it to you.
Nothing new, but seemed like a nice PR move.
I’m not sure this is. Not because I’m afraid of the Fed learning that I want a secret loan, too, but because I can’t imagine what they’ll do differently once they get the information they want.
What, will they give us more information about things they can’t really tell us?
Until then, watch your back when you’re social media-ing about the Fed. That stealth figure looking over your shoulder in the breakroom, eating the leftover doughnut holes, will be an unpaid intern transcribing your tweets critiquing quantitative easing and discussing the dangers of a semi-government entity controlling the money supply–without direct constitutional authority.